Post by stifflermichael on Jun 4, 2010 15:28:38 GMT
Heh all, an update on the plants, if anyone cares to hear it! They have been through a lot after their move to Texas and the roller coaster ride of water conditions. I had a huge problem with an organic film on the water surface that I'm sure was not good for growth...but I've since attached a surface skimmer (about a month ago) that clears it up. The population is not as large as it used to be, and I haven't seen evidence of flowering in some time...but they grow on.
I will post some pics soon for those who might be interested!
Post by fernandorivadavia on Jun 24, 2010 5:05:09 GMT
Wow, amazing!! I have been trying to grow Aldrovanda in my tank for the past month, but they are slowly dwindling. I got pretty much all you have, except that I have a home-brew of CO2, so I don't know how much gets in except by the pH. I've been adding fertilizers and am getting new lights this week (4 T5 bulbs: 10000K, 6700K, actinic and roseate, for a good mix). What wavelength/ type were your bulbs in both tanks?
Post by stifflermichael on Jun 29, 2010 22:30:52 GMT
I use 6700k bulbs. From what I understand, the colored bulbs (actinic bulbs) are meant for reef aquaria and don't grow plants well.
Whether home-brew CO2 will work or not really depends on the volume of your aquarium and the amount of surface agitation. A good way to tell is by measuring pH: a good target is a 0.8-1 unit drop in pH below what the pH of the aquarium water is (which may not be the same as the water you put in: driftwood can lower the pH, some types of aquarium gravel will increase the pH, etc.).
Post by fernandorivadavia on Jun 30, 2010 6:18:23 GMT
Thanks for the reply! OK, good to know I got at least one bulb right! I did read that actinic bulbs are for reef aquaria, but I thought it wouldn't hurt the plants to have one actinic bulb, especially if I was already giving the plants 3 other bulbs which should meet their demands. Plus, actinics do color up some of the fish nicely!
Anyway, about the pH, I did have 2 accidents when the CO2 pump stopped working. In both cases, the pH rose dramatically from the 6.4-6.8 range to 7.6-7.8! So I guess the pump is getting plenty of CO2 into the water.
But what were you referring to when you mentioned surface agitation? Are you talking about a possible loss of CO2 in the water due to too much agitation?
I noticed you mentioned a surface skimmer. I thought this was only for salt-water aquaria? Coincidentally, this week I noticed that there's some sort of build-up on the surface of my aquarium. When I threw food on the surface, it didn't spread all over, but seemed to be contained in a central area (where the water returning from the filter forms a small "wave" on the surface). Does this mean I need a skimmer as well?
Anyway, I see that you have the Darwin form, whereas I have the Japanese form -- and supposedly the Japanese form is impossible to cultivate in aquaria for whatever reason...
If you ever get carpets of Aldrovanda again, I would definitely be interested in trying some of your Darwin form...
Post by stifflermichael on Jun 30, 2010 20:31:33 GMT
I don't think there should be a problem with your actinic bulbs. There is some grumbling in the planted aquarium community about these bulbs not being ideal for plant growth. I figure since plants absorb light strongly in the blue part of the spectrum, they should be okay to use. Though I would include bulbs that emit in the red part of the spectrum also, maybe this is what your 'roseate' bulbs do?
I mentioned surface agitation because CO2 is lost at the water surface. With more surface agitation, more CO2 gets lost from the water. I guess the reason has something to do with an increase of surface area. BUT, if you are observing a 0.8-1 unit drop in pH with CO2 injection, then everything is okay and you shouldn't need to worry about the amount of surface agitation occurring (unless you want to decrease the amount of CO2 you need to inject). Incidentally, most planted aquarium hobbyist use canister-type filters, setting the discharge a good distance below the water surface to reduce surface agitation. Hang-on-the-back and sump filters are typically avoided, these create a large surface area for CO2 loss.
I'll get some pics up soon of my surface skimmer. It's not the same type used by coral reef aquarist...it simply siphons off water from the surface at some slow rate. I don't know if you need a skimmer, I could start on an opinion if you first tell me what type of filter you use.
Right now, to be honest, I'm not sure exactly what kind of Aldrovanda is growing in my tank. I received some 'giant form' Japanese aldrovanda from rivertsen some time back. I simply threw it in with my Australian form (I only have one aquarium after all!). Now, I can't tell the damn difference.
Post by fernandorivadavia on Jul 2, 2010 2:57:02 GMT
Thanks for the info! My filter is a canister type, an Eheim 2236, which I filled with the media that comes with it, as well as with phosguard/ phosban (I've got a bit of a phosphate problem right now... Long story!), activated carbon, and Purigen.
I just made a new batch of yeast mix, so I've turned the discharge towards the surface because the amount of CO2 is a little high and the pH was dropping too much.
As for the Aldrovanda, I also got my Japanese form from Sivertsen's pond! I've gotta look for a US source of the Darwin form...
Thanks tons, Fernando
P.S. Yes, the roseate bulb emits in the red wavelength.